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Is there a Hand Limit in MTG?

Is there a Hand Limit in MTG


Welcome to a deep dive into the fascinating world of Magic: The Gathering (MTG)! If you’re just starting out or have been shuffling decks for years, understanding the basics is key. Today, we’re focusing on a fundamental aspect of MTG: the Hand Limit. But what exactly is this rule, and how does it impact your gameplay? Let’s find out together!

MTG isn’t just a game of powerful creatures and spell-slinging; it’s also about strategy and managing resources. One crucial resource is your hand of cards. Knowing the ins and outs of the Hand Limit in MTG can make or break a game. So, buckle up as we explore this essential rule.

Key Takeaways: Hand Limit in MTG

Brief Overview of MTG Rules

Magic: The Gathering is a game filled with complexity and excitement. Each player starts with a deck of cards, representing creatures, spells, and lands. The goal? To reduce your opponent’s life total to zero before they do the same to you. But it’s not just about attacking and defending. Strategy plays a massive role, and part of that strategy is managing your hand of cards effectively. The Hand Limit rule is one such aspect that every player needs to master.

In MTG, you can’t just hoard cards in your hand indefinitely. The game has a specific rule that limits the number of cards you can hold at the end of your turn. This rule is designed to maintain balance and fairness in gameplay, making sure no player has an overwhelming advantage just by having more cards in their hand.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what the Hand Limit in MTG is, let’s delve deeper into its specifics and how it shapes the game. Remember, knowledge of the rules is as powerful as the mightiest spell in your deck!

Understanding the Hand Limit in MTG

Understanding the Hand Limit in MTG

In Magic: The Gathering, managing your hand is a vital part of the game. The Hand Limit in MTG is a rule that sets a maximum number of cards you can have in your hand at the end of your turn. Let’s break down what this means for you as a player.

Explanation of the Hand Limit Rule

The basic rule is simple: at the end of your turn, if you have more than seven cards in your hand, you must discard cards until you have only seven. This rule ensures a level playing field, preventing any player from accumulating an overwhelming number of options.

How the Hand Limit Affects Gameplay

This rule has a significant impact on how you play the game. It forces you to make strategic decisions about which cards to keep and which to discard. Do you hold onto that high-cost, powerful spell, or do you keep a balance of lands and creatures? These decisions can shape the outcome of the game.

The Hand Limit in MTG also influences how you build your deck. Knowing that you can only have seven cards at the end of your turn, you might lean towards a strategy that plays cards quickly or a deck that benefits from discarding cards.

Understanding this rule is key to mastering MTG. It’s not just about the cards you play; it’s also about the cards you choose to keep in your hand. So, keep an eye on your hand size as you play – it could be the difference between victory and defeat!

The Beginning of Your Turn: Drawing Cards

The Beginning of Your Turn

The start of your turn in Magic: The Gathering is crucial, and one of the first things you do is draw a card. This simple action can significantly impact your game, especially in relation to the Hand Limit in MTG.

The Draw Step Explained

Each turn in MTG begins with the draw step, where you draw a single card from your deck. This step is your chance to add new options to your hand. However, it’s not just about drawing cards; it’s about managing your hand size effectively. Remember, if you have more than seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn, you’ll need to discard down to seven.

Balancing Your Hand Size

Balancing your hand size is a delicate art in MTG. Drawing cards is essential, but so is keeping an eye on your hand limit. You want to have enough options to play effectively but not so many that you’re forced to discard valuable cards. Strategic planning and foresight are key here. Think ahead and plan your moves, considering both the current state of the game and your hand size. This balance is a fundamental skill that can lead you to victory.

Exceptions to the Hand Limit Rule

Exceptions to the Hand Limit Rule

In Magic: The Gathering, the Hand Limit in MTG rule is a fundamental aspect, but there are fascinating exceptions. Let’s explore how certain cards and strategies can change the game by modifying the standard hand limit.

Cards that Modify Hand Limits

Magic is a game of endless possibilities, and some cards allow you to bend or even break the rules, including the hand limit. Cards like “Reliquary Tower” and “Spellbook” offer the ability to have no hand limit, allowing you to hold as many cards as you like. This can be a game-changer, especially in formats where drawing a lot of cards is common.

Strategies to Bypass the Hand Limit

There are strategies that help you get around the hand limit. For example, using cards that allow you to play with the top card of your library revealed and playable can effectively extend your hand without holding more cards. Some decks focus on putting cards into play quickly, reducing the need to hold a large hand. Understanding these strategies and how to utilize them can give you an edge in your games.

Knowing these exceptions to the hand limit rule adds another layer of depth to MTG. It’s not just about following the rules but also knowing when and how you can strategically break them!

End Step: Discarding to the Hand Limit

Discarding to the Hand Limit

In Magic: The Gathering, the end step of your turn is when the Hand Limit in MTG comes into play. It’s time to make some critical decisions about which cards to keep and which to discard.

The Process of Discarding

If you have more than seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn, you must discard cards until you have seven. This decision can be tough. Each card discarded could be a missed opportunity or a crucial part of your strategy. It’s important to weigh the value of each card in the context of the current game state and your overall strategy.

Strategic Considerations When Discarding

Discarding to the hand limit isn’t just about randomly throwing away cards. It requires thoughtful consideration. Maybe you’ll discard a high-cost card that you’re far from casting, or perhaps a card that’s less useful in the current matchup. Sometimes, discarding can even work to your advantage if you have cards in your deck that benefit from being in the graveyard.

Every card you choose to discard is a small piece of your strategy. Think carefully and make each choice count. This phase may seem like a simple cleanup step, but it can significantly influence the outcome of the game.

Hand Limit in Different Formats

Is there a Hand Limit in MTG

Magic: The Gathering is played in various formats, each with its own set of rules and strategies. The Hand Limit in MTG plays a distinct role in each of these formats. Understanding how the hand limit applies can help you tailor your strategy to each format.

Hand Limits in Standard, Modern, and Commander

In Standard and Modern formats, the hand limit rule is straightforward: if you have more than seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn, you must discard down to seven. This rule is consistent and applies equally to all players in these formats.

Commander, however, adds a twist. In this format, if a player has been dealt 21 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game, they lose the game. This rule doesn’t directly change the hand limit, but it does influence how players approach their hand size. In Commander, holding onto the right cards to protect yourself from commander damage becomes crucial.

How Hand Limits Influence Deck Building

The hand limit impacts how you build your deck in each format. In Standard and Modern, where games are often faster and more aggressive, keeping a lower hand size can be beneficial. You want to play your cards efficiently and avoid having to discard.

In Commander, where games tend to be longer and more strategic, having options is key. Cards that allow you to increase your hand size or that benefit from having a full hand can be more valuable.

Understanding the hand limit in each format is essential for successful gameplay. It’s not just about the cards you play, but also about the cards you choose to hold onto. Tailoring your strategy to the specific hand limit rules of each format can give you a significant advantage.

MTG Arena: Hand Limits in the Digital Realm

Hand Limits in the Digital Realm

Magic: The Gathering Arena (MTGA) brings the classic card game to the digital world. While many rules remain the same, the Hand Limit in MTG has some unique aspects in this digital format.

Comparing Hand Limits in Physical and Digital Play

In both physical MTG and MTGA, the hand limit rule is the same at its core: you can only have seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn. However, in MTGA, the digital interface makes tracking this easier. The game automatically prompts you to discard down to seven cards, reducing the chances of accidentally breaking the rule. This feature is particularly helpful for new players or those who might lose track during complex turns.

Unique Aspects of Hand Limits in MTG Arena

One of the unique aspects of MTGA is how it handles the visual representation of your hand. In the digital game, you can see all your cards clearly, no matter how many you have, thanks to the scrolling feature. This makes it easier to review your options and plan your strategy, especially when you have a larger hand size.

In MTGA, being aware of the hand limit is still important, but the digital format provides tools that make managing your hand more straightforward. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, understanding how the hand limit works in MTGA can enhance your gameplay experience.

Advanced Strategies Involving Hand Limits

Advanced Strategies Involving Hand Limits

In Magic: The Gathering, understanding and manipulating the Hand Limit in MTG can be a crucial part of advanced gameplay. Let’s delve into some strategies that take the hand limit into account, both in deck building and during play.

Building Decks with Hand Limit Considerations

When building your deck, consider how the hand limit will impact your strategy. Some decks are designed to rapidly empty their hand, making the hand limit less of an issue. Others might use tools to increase hand size or benefit from discarding cards. For instance, decks focusing on the “Madness” or “Flashback” mechanics can turn a discard due to hand limits into an advantage.

Key Cards and Combos

Certain cards and combos can help you manage or even exploit the hand limit. Cards like “Reliquary Tower” allow you to have no hand limit, providing a significant advantage in control or combo decks. On the other hand, cards like “Wheel of Fortune” can force both players to discard their hand and draw seven new cards, resetting the playing field and potentially disrupting your opponent’s strategy while keeping you within the hand limit.

By incorporating these strategies into your gameplay, you can turn the hand limit from a restriction into an opportunity. It’s all about finding the right balance and the right cards to fit your overall game plan.

FAQs Section

Is there a Hand Limit in MTG

In the world of Magic: The Gathering, questions about the Hand Limit in MTG are common, especially among new players. Let’s address some of these frequently asked questions to clear up any confusion.

What Happens If You Have More Than Seven Cards in Your Hand at the End of Your Turn?

If you find yourself with more than seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn, you must discard cards until you have only seven left. This rule ensures that players can’t just accumulate a large number of cards, which could give them an unfair advantage.

Can Certain Cards Change the Hand Limit?

Yes, certain cards in MTG can change the hand limit rule. For example, “Reliquary Tower” is a land card that allows you to have no hand limit. These cards can significantly impact how you play and strategize, offering new avenues for deck building and gameplay.

How Does the Hand Limit Rule Affect Different Styles of Play?

The hand limit rule affects various styles of play differently. In aggressive decks that play cards quickly, the hand limit might not be a big issue. However, in control or combo decks where accumulating options is key, managing your hand limit becomes an essential part of the strategy. Some decks even use the discard mechanic to their advantage, turning a potential downside into a powerful tool.

Understanding these aspects of the Hand Limit in MTG is crucial for all players, from beginners to seasoned veterans. Knowing the rules, exceptions, and strategies around this aspect can greatly enhance your gameplay experience.


Understanding the Hand Limit in MTG is more than just knowing a rule; it’s about grasping a critical aspect of strategic play in Magic: The Gathering. This concept influences how you build your deck, make decisions during the game, and ultimately, how you approach the game as a whole.

The hand limit rule shapes various aspects of MTG, from the choices made during deck construction to the decisions in the heat of battle. Whether it’s deciding which cards to keep or discard, or how to use cards that modify hand limits to your advantage, this rule is central to the game’s strategy.

By now, you should have a clearer understanding of the hand limit in MTG and why it’s important. Keep these insights in mind as you play, build your decks, and face your opponents across the table or online. Remember, every card in your hand is a resource, and managing that resource effectively can lead you to victory.

Related Reading: Is there a Hand Limit in MTG

All 27 Infinite Hand Size Cards in Magic Ranked – Draftsim
In Magic: The Gathering, managing your hand size is crucial, as it represents your array of strategic options. The article from Draftsim delves into the concept of “no maximum hand size” cards, which allow players to bypass the usual limit of seven cards in hand. This comprehensive guide ranks 27 cards that enable an infinite hand size, offering a strategic advantage by allowing players to retain more cards and thus more potential actions. It’s a must-read for players looking to enhance their gameplay by maximizing their hand resources.

Top 10 Infinite Hand Cards in Magic: The Gathering – HobbyLark
HobbyLark presents a fascinating countdown of the top ten spells in Magic: The Gathering that grant players an unlimited hand size. This insightful article is perfect for enthusiasts seeking to expand their strategic horizons in MTG. It highlights how these unique spells can dramatically alter the dynamics of a game, providing players with an unorthodox yet potent way to maintain a larger arsenal of options throughout the match.

Is there a hand limit in MTG? – Vintage is The New Old
This article addresses a common query among Magic: The Gathering players regarding hand limits. It explains the standard hand limit rules and introduces scenarios where players can have no maximum hand size. This piece is particularly useful for new players or those looking to understand the nuances of hand size rules in MTG, offering clear explanations and examples of gameplay situations where these rules come into play.

Search: +”no maximum hand size” – Gatherer – Magic
For players who want to dive deep into the mechanics of Magic: The Gathering, this resource from Gatherer is invaluable. It provides a comprehensive search result for cards with the “no maximum hand size” attribute, allowing players to explore various options and strategies that involve manipulating hand size limits. This tool is ideal for deck builders and strategists looking to tailor their decks with specific cards that align with their gameplay style.

Decanter of Endless Water – TCGPlayer
The Decanter of Endless Water is a unique card in Magic: The Gathering, offering players the ability to have an infinite hand size. This link leads to TCGPlayer, where enthusiasts can find more details about the card, its uses, and how it can be integrated into different deck types. It’s a great resource for players looking to purchase the card or understand its role in various MTG strategies.

Suggested Articles and Resources for Further Reading

  1. Official Magic: The Gathering Rulebook: This is your go-to resource for any rules-related queries, including detailed explanations of the hand limit and other gameplay mechanics.
  2. MTG Strategy Guides: Various books and online guides are available that delve into advanced strategies, including how to effectively manage your hand limit.
  3. Online Forums and Communities: Websites like MTG Salvation or Reddit’s r/magicTCG offer community discussions and insights into different aspects of the game, including hand limit strategies.
  4. Deck Building Websites: Utilize resources like MTGGoldfish or TappedOut for deck ideas and strategies, many of which discuss how to optimize hand size and manage card draw.

Official MTG Rulebook References

The official MTG rulebook is a comprehensive guide that covers every aspect of the game. For specific rules about the hand limit, check the sections on the “Ending Phase” and “State-Based Actions.” These sections provide detailed information on how and when to discard cards to comply with the hand limit.

These resources are invaluable for players looking to improve their gameplay and understanding of Magic: The Gathering. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, there’s always more to learn in the ever-evolving world of MTG.

Feedback and Community Interaction

Engaging with the community is a key part of enjoying and learning more about Magic: The Gathering. Your thoughts, experiences, and questions about the Hand Limit in MTG and other aspects of the game are invaluable.

Inviting Reader Comments and Questions

We encourage you to share your insights and questions in the comment section below. Whether you’re a beginner looking for advice or an experienced player with tips to share, your contribution is welcome. Your experiences with the hand limit, whether in physical play or MTGA, can help others learn and grow in their understanding of the game.

Sharing Experiences Related to Hand Limits

Do you have a memorable game where the hand limit played a crucial role? Have you discovered any unique strategies or card interactions involving the hand limit? Sharing these stories can provide real-life examples of how the hand limit rule impacts gameplay and can inspire other players to try new strategies.

This space is all about community learning and sharing. So, let’s come together as Magic players and enthusiasts to discuss, learn, and enjoy this incredible game! Your feedback and interactions make the MTG community richer and more vibrant.

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